Jen Atkinson, chief executive of the £80m-turnover travel business which featured in the BBC’s “The Millionaires Holiday Club” – is the latest high flyer to speak at TheBusinessDesk’s women’s lunch series.
The Chester-based company has recently rebranded to Inspiring Travel Company, having previously been known as ITC Luxury Travel, to better reflect the luxury ‘money can’t buy’ experiences it offers its clientele.
The company acquired Western and Oriental Travel in 2015, which expanded the core luxury beach offering and developed group-wide expertise in experiential holidays, before winning investment capital from private equity firm North Edge a year ago.
Jen joined the business in 2004 as head of marketing and just as the recession was hitting in 2009, was appointed chief operating officer by founder Drew Foster, who sadly passed away later that year.
At that point the business was making a loss and Jen was entrusted with implementing a new vision and relaunching with a new management team and business structure in place. By 2010 she was chief executive and the business was turning a small profit again.
Fast-forward seven years and Jen says the company’s rapid growth and success is down to the passion and engagement of the company’s 200 staff – as well Inspiring Travel Company’s client-centered, personal service.
The last financial year was its most successful on record, and the business is on track to make 13,000 bookings this year and is expected to carry 32,000 passengers to 106 countries across the globe.
Jen and TheBusinessDesk editor Joanne Birtwistle will talk on stage about the highs and lows of her career so far – some of the risks she took along the way, including the inside track on taking part in the BBC Documentary – as well as exciting future growth plans for the business and why she thinks women make great leaders.
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